Who wants to waste their time cleaning and descaling a coffee machine? I mean, you rinse it off after every brew, you hand wash the plastic parts and clean out the stainless steel thermal carafe. So why do you need to bother?
But did you know that your Moccamaster could benefit from a bit of attention? With the buildup of oils, calcium, and water minerals, your cup of coffee probably isn’t tasting as delicious as it could.
Unlike a standard automatic drip coffee maker on the market today, the Moccamaster doesn’t tell you when it’s time to clean. No lights will go on. No bells will ring. But your supply of quality coffee is rapidly depleting.
If you’re hoping for a machine that notifies you when to clean it, check out some of the best drip coffee makers. But the Moccamaster is one of the better machines to own.
We all know the two fundamental coffee ingredients: water and coffee beans. Water leaves minerals, and coffee beans leave an oily residue. So let’s take a closer look at what we can do about these two buildups.
What is Descaling?
We’ve all heard the term; we know we have to do it, but what does it mean? Descaling refers to the process of removing limescale from the heating elements of your machine.
What’s limescale? It’s a hard, chalky deposit consisting of minerals and calcium found in your water. And no matter what water you’re using or how clean you think it is, it contains those minerals.
Why Clean and Descale a Coffee Maker?
Those limescale patches are clogging up your copper heating element with every brew. As a result, they’re forcing your Moccamaster to work harder to reach the temperatures you need for the perfect cup of coffee.
And not only does this buildup affect the temperature of your hot coffee, but it also slows down your brew time. So your iconic coffee maker has to work harder to make amazing coffee.
But also, it’s safer to keep your machine clean. With regular descaling and cleaning, you’ll prevent any bacteria and molds from building up and contaminating your crisp coffee.
And it will taste better when you’re all done!
So a quick descaling should solve all your problems, right? Well, not entirely.
Remember when I mentioned coffee oils? Well, some people like to use the words cleaning and descaling interchangeably, but they do mean two different things.
While descaling refers to removing the calcium and mineral buildup, cleaning refers to removing the residue from coffee oils. Using a two=pronged coffee maker cleaning attack will ensure the freshest tasting cup of coffee possible for years to come.
The biggest culprit of residue the buildup of coffee oils is your carafe. I know you like to use it to fill up your water reservoir. I mean, how else do you know exactly how much warm water to put in?
But your coffee pot contains the oils of your roasted coffee, and it’s taking its toll.
You want to keep your SCA-Certified Coffee Maker running at its best. Don’t worry! Descaling and cleaning your coffee equipment takes almost the same amount of time as the coffee brewing experience.
Follow these five simple steps to clean your coffee maker, and I promise you’ll appreciate the fundamental coffee flavors that will find their way back into your cup.
Descaling a Moccamaster
No matter which model you own, the process remains the same. You’ll have a cleaned and descaled machine in no time!
What you’ll need
- Clean lukewarm water
- Durgol Universal Descaler or some other descaling agent
- Your Moccamaster
Make sure to turn off the power on your machine and empty your filter basket of any coffee grounds.
Fill the water reservoir with the descaling agent and fresh water. Follow the ratio listed on the bottle of descaling agent of your choice. For Durgol, that is 150 milliliters of descaler per reservoir of fresh water.
Did you know? You can make a descaling agent with citric acid or a packet of lemon-flavored Kool-Aid, but be sure to mix it first with at least a pint of water.
Place the empty carafe underneath the brew basket to collect the descaling solution.
Turn on the coffee maker to start the brew cycle. Wait roughly 4-6 minutes for the brew cycle to complete.
Once the brew cycle is complete, run two more brew cycles with nothing but fresh water. This will flush any residual descaling agent from your machine and leave your coffee tasting fresh and delicious.
Follow these same steps for deep cleaning residual ground coffee oil from the Moccamaster, but use a cleaning powder in place of a descaling agent. I recommend Urnex Coffee Machine Cleaning Powder.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I descale the Moccamaster?
About every 100 brews.
If you have trouble remembering, make a note on your calendar or descale it every time you run out of white paper coffee filters. One box holds 100 filters, so it’s perfect!
How often should I deep clean the Moccamaster?
If you’re filling your water reservoir with your coffee pot, you should probably be cleaning it once every thirty days.
Even if you don’t use your coffee pot to fill the tank, your Moccamaster won’t be hurt with a good, deep clean every now and again.
How do I keep the Moccamaster clean daily?
On a day-to-day basis, you shouldn’t need to do more than rinse your coffee pot and brew-basket under clean water. It is enough and won’t affect the flavor of your coffee.
About every week, I’d recommend placing a drop of dish detergent in your coffee pot and filling it with hot water. Let it sit for about an hour before rinsing it out.
While that soaks, I like to hand wash all the plastic pieces in warm, soapy water.
Is the Moccamaster dishwasher safe?
Unfortunately, no parts of the Moccamaster are safe to run through the dishwasher.
A common complaint about the plastic on the Moccamaster is that it feels cheap. The culprit? A lack of any toxic chemicals that give plastic that premium feel.
Healthy for you, healthy for the environment. But it does mean you need to give it a little extra care.
For this reason, the lids and brew-basket should never go through the dishwasher, as they may become scratched or lose their integrity.
Likewise, it would be best to hand-wash both the glass and thermal carafes.
Can I use vinegar to descale the Moccamaster?
You may read many articles about the natural benefits of descaling with a pot of vinegar water, but the truth is, there are some significant drawbacks to using it.
First of all, white vinegar doesn’t remove all the limescale deposits. That means your coffee maker isn’t as clean as it would be with a commercial descaling agent.
Secondly, vinegar can leave a lingering taste and smell that takes several flushes to remove. Finally, it simply isn’t energy efficient!
Moccamaster recommends only using quality and well-known commercial descaling agents.